With the speed and intensity of security challenges increasing, organizations’ security teams are struggling to keep up. What’s more, not only is the threat landscape growing but systems and networks are becoming more complex and expansive, leaving security professionals wondering what to tackle first.
This is where security solutions such as Managed Extended Detection & Response (MXDR) come into play. Such solutions can supplement in-house efforts but also provide solid security to companies that cannot maintain their own security operations. They take off the pressure from threat monitoring, detection, and response to both internal and external threats.
MXDR also enables companies to determine the cause of a threat or attack and, with the help of the service provider, take concrete steps to remedy the situation. As such, MXDR differs from more traditional cybersecurity monitoring solutions by improving organizations’ security strategy, addressing internal lack of security skills, and tackling even advanced threats.
In this blog post, we will look at what MXDR is, why companies choose to adopt this kind of solution, and how it works. In a follow-up blog post, we will also look at the concrete benefits offered by the service and how it differs from other security offerings.
What is MXDR?
Managed Extended Detection & Response is an outsourced cybersecurity solution that provides technological and human support in threat hunting and response as well as security intelligence and insight.
The MXDR platform is a 24/7 security control that proactively works to spot any possible threats and prevent attacks - this is also known as continuously managed threat hunting. For this purpose, the platform utilizes a host of endpoint and network security technologies, along with managing firewalls, and other security infrastructure that helps it detect threats.
In addition to the above, an MXDR platform is also supported by in-depth threat intelligence, extensive forensic data, and analytics. These are utilized by the security team of the solution provider to perform triage, investigate incidents, and provide remediation when needed.
What business challenges does MXDR solve?
There are several main reasons why a business might opt to adopt an MXDR solution. These include:
- Personnel, resource, and time limitations
One of the main business drivers for MXDR adoption is the lack of enough security staff that is available for hire. For years, the industry has faced a talent shortage which has given rise to automated solutions and third-party providers in order to fill the vacuum and address the increase in threats.
The inability, due to resource constraints, to hire enough personnel is another factor that drives security technology adoption. Apart from manpower or resources, a lack of enough time to address all security issues or make the best of security solutions that are already utilized is also a common reason for outsourcing.
- Lack of expertise and/or experience
Related to the above, the lack of specialized skills or experience necessary to conduct tasks like forensic investigations, malware analysis, and others is a common reason for companies to consider outside help.
A solution provider offers immediate access to both expertise and experience, without the need to attract, hire, and retain such specialists in-house.
- Alert fatigue and slow threat detection
The overwhelming amount of security alerts that professionals need to consider daily is a source of what’s called alert fatigue. As endpoints increase, so do alerts, and this often results in poorer decision-making about the severity of a threat and how to respond to it.
Such fatigue may also lead to a slowing down of threat detection, with threats going undetected, leaving organizations exposed to a host of dangers.
How does MXDR work?
An MXDR system includes several different layers of tools and capabilities that work in concert in order to provide maximum security internally and externally. Here is what an MXDR system offers:
1. 24/7 monitoring, detection, and response
The MXDR system actively monitors a company’s network and endpoints and searches for clues of threats or active attacks. This is part of the automated defense system of the platform.
Alert triage or prioritization is included in this process. Initially, alerts are sifted through by the system, based on a number of rules, and are then inspected by the incident response team.
If among the various alerts a genuine threat is detected, the team determines its nature and possible severity and takes action to counteract it.
2. Vulnerability management
Not only does an MXDR system actively monitor for threats, but it is also capable of spotting vulnerabilities in your digital environment.
This is based on threat intelligence which is used by the system and the team to assess and score vulnerabilities according to the risk they pose.
3. Threat hunting
Threat hunting goes beyond network and endpoint monitoring and security alerts. It is associated with identifying and uncovering signs of malicious activities that occur deep within a company’s digital environment.
This process is actively guided and undertaken by the cybersecurity analysts part of the SOC Team and its purpose is to spot signs of system compromise before an alert is even generated in the system, and is elevated to the level of a threat.
4. Cyber forensics
The cyber forensics service involves an investigation and reconstruction of the events that have led to a security compromise. It identifies the extent of such compromise and seeks to establish the possible perpetrators of the attack so that they can be prosecuted.
Along with the investigation and reconstruction, the forensics process includes remediation recommendations in order to contain the incident, reduce the damage it can cause, and prevent future instances.
5. Threat intelligence
The platform provides you with up-to-date information about threats from global security sources. This includes insights about current ongoing attacks, newly arising threats, and all sorts of other cybercriminal activities that are gleaned by experts in various parts of the deep or dark web.
This intelligence is also used to help teams identify and respond to new threats before they can cause any real harm.
Protect your systems with the help of a trusted partner
For most companies, developing and maintaining the necessary expertise and technological capabilities to deal with ongoing cybersecurity incidents is hard, if not impossible. But it is also not necessary.
Getting the help of trusted experts, backed by a suite of high-tech tools, means that you can direct your attention elsewhere. In the meantime, the security team of Amatas will be there to monitor, detect, and respond to any threats, and to maintain the security and integrity of your systems.
Want to know more about our Managed Extended Detection & Response service? Get in touch and let’s discuss your business’s security needs!